A lot of big games on tap the day after Thanksgiving, and in the MAC it’s no different. Two of the heavyweights of the conference, Toledo and Western Michigan, will matchup in Kalamazoo. Western Michigan comes in with a perfect record of 11-0, but as a result of the conference they play in, they aren’t going to get any looks at the college football playoff. They will, however, get their chance to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl game, you have to think. A loss though would derail those plans. The New Year’s Six bowls have some big payouts that come along with playing in them, and for a school like Western Michigan, it’d be huge if they earned a spot. It might be wishful thinking for Western Michigan, but I believe a team with a perfect record should have an automatic bid. At the end of the day, I expect to see them in the Cotton Bowl. We’ll see how it goes for them. The Toledo Rockets come in on a three-game winning streak, and wins in six of their last seven games. If there’s a team in the conference who has the ability to beat Western Michigan it’s the Rockets.
Toledo have only two losses on the season, one to BYU and another to Ohio. The BYU game was a valiant effort, but they came up short 55-53 in Utah back in September. Their loss to Ohio was by 5 points, 31-26. Only 7 points separates them between 9-2 and 11-0. The Rockets should be highly motivated to get the win this afternoon against Western Michigan. A win for Toledo would leave a crater in this season for the Broncos, who are seeking at going undefeated. Some teams don’t really care about bowl games, but this team will be fired up to play in a top-tier bowl game this season.
The MAC has had their moments in the spotlight this season, from Central Michigan beating Oklahoma State, to Eastern Michigan becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 1995, and Western Michigan going for a perfect season. If the Broncos had a couple of quality opponents on their schedule and beat them, we might be talking about a Boise State-esque scenario from the BCS era. The case would have been there for them in the top 4 if that came to fruition. However, the best team they’ve beaten this season was against Illinois in mid-September. That definitely won’t cause them to get a boost in votes. Nevertheless, a perfect season is impressive regardless of the competition. Toledo will look to put that to an end today.
Toledo Rockets vs. Western Michigan NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Western Michigan -7(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Toledo vs. Western Michigan Pick:
It might not be the National Championship for Western Michigan, but if they get the chance to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl, it’s sure going to feel like it for them. There will be their opportunity to show that they can hang with the big boys. The Western Michigan Broncos have a gunslinger under center, and a wide receiver who ranks up there with the best in college football. Broncos’ quarterback Zack Terrell has thrown for 27 touchdowns and only 1 interception. 1 interception over the course of an entire season is mind boggling. He can make it through the entire regular season with only 1 interception if he can protect the ball today. Look out for an NFL team getting a good look at him in the draft. Maybe a 6th round selection could be in his future.
His number 1 target, Corey Davis, has gone for 1,202 yards with 16 touchdowns. Davis is another guy who be getting looks in the NFL, so be sure to look out for him at the next level. Terrell and Davis have led Western Michigan to 509 yards per game, which is 13th in the FBS. They are also 5th in scoring, with 43.8 points scored per game. Expect Terrell and Davis to have a monster day against Toledo here. Toledo are 55th against the pass, not quite enough to be able to slow these guys down, I believe.
If the Rockets want to pull the upset off, they’re going to need to keep up with Terrell slinging it around the yard. The Rockets have a quarterback as well who can pile the yards and points up. Logan Woodside has already passed for 40 touchdowns this season, with only 7 interceptions. Both Woodside and Terrell are pocket passers, and if they have time in the pocket to pass, good things usually arise from it. Woodside has thrown at least 3 touchdowns in every game this season, an impressive feat in his own right. The Rockets are 5th in the country, with an average of 536 yards per game. This has the makings of a 45-33 game or something thereabout. As such, the OVER is a good looking play to me.
PICK: OVER 69.5 POINTS (-110)